saraithegeek22 karma2014-04-21 23:48:15 UTC
Different labs will use different methods. A common one is to use an enzyme which modifies the cholesterol molecule and produces a hydrogen peroxide molecule. The hydrogen peroxide molecule then reacts with another chemical present which produces a red color change. The "amount" of red pigment produced is proportional to the amount of cholesterol present, and a device called a spectrophotometer is able to measure this by shining light on the sample and recording how much of that light is absorbed. The computer then calculates the concentration of cholesterol.
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saraithegeek15 karma2014-04-22 01:40:20 UTC
One of my old coworkers had a t-shirt that said, "without us, the doctors are just guessing."
saraithegeek14 karma2014-04-22 01:32:04 UTC
The most rewarding part of my job is when I'm able to give the doc that last piece he or she needs to save the patient. My lab had a patient recently that came to the ER unconscious. The ER doc started treating for drug overdose until he got CBC results back and saw signs of an infection. Then, he sent us spinal fluid and we were able to show that the patient had no glucose in her CSF and our micro tech found gram negative diplococci in the gram stain. All the pieces fell into place and the doc was able to quickly diagnose meningitis and save the patient's life.
saraithegeek11 karma2014-01-25 03:29:58 UTC
Thank you for putting to words the vague sense I was getting from this whole thing. I am honestly a little shocked you are getting downvoted, I thought reddit as a whole was pretty skeptical.
saraithegeek11 karma2014-04-22 01:04:05 UTC
Old. Like, so old. When I start working in August I will be the youngest tech in my lab by 20 years.
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